We surveyed Amazon sellers about their vacation strategies and what tools make it possible to step away from their business.
Are you dreaming of getting away from it all? What if you could spend time traveling and still make money through your Amazon business? As many sellers have discovered, it’s easier than ever to work while on the go. It just requires a little bit of flexibility, as well as the right tools.
Download our Amazon seller vacation survey to learn how other merchants find a balance between travel and managing daily business operations.
It seems counter-intuitive, but sometimes the best thing that you can do for your business is to step away. (Of course, it's important to have trusted - and tested - systems in place to keep things running in your absence.) Taking a vacation can provide perspective. Maybe it's time to consider stocking new products, or maybe your former best selling item just isn't seeing enough traction these days.
Time away from the constant distractions of new tasks and notifications can give you room to think about how you want to grow your business. If you're selling part time while holding down a full-time job, maybe it's time to consider expanding your empire, or maybe not. The point is, it's hard to think about these things while you're involved in the day to day business of, well...running your business.
In order to take some well-deserved time off, it's always good to plan ahead. For example, you probably won't want to schedule a "no technology" getaway around the second week of July, since you'll likely see an increase in sales around Amazon's annual Prime Day. You might daydream of heading to a snowy mountain lodge and hitting the slopes, but you'll probably want to wait until after the Q4 rush has slowed down. (Not to mention, maybe your successful Q4 will mean you can upgrade your lift tickets. How's that for a goal to work toward?)
Our survey found that 86% of participants had at least one vacation planned within the next twelve months. More than half of the sellers planned to take at least two vacations during the same time frame. Planning vacation time in advance can make it easier to keep your business running smoothly while you’re away. That's true whether you prefer to work as usual (but from a different location) or completely delegate your tasks to others so that you can truly relax.
Some sellers travel frequently, thanks to the flexibility of working on the road. Interestingly, 68% of Amazon merchants who participated in our Amazon seller vacation survey try to check in with their business at least once per day while on vacation. Thanks to email and automation tools, you can field customer inquiries while on a boat or sip a smoothie poolside while managing your inventory. Unless you’re dreaming of working from Mars (which may be possible sooner rather than later if Jeff Bezos has anything to say about it), you can work from just about anywhere if you have reliable internet access.
Your office is as mobile as your favorite device or laptop when you have the right team and tools in place. While you may need to spend an hour or so responding to messages and managing your store each day, you can certainly run your business successfully while traveling. If you’re in a different time zone, you may want to make plans to check in near the beginning or end of the working day in your home time zone. Working while traveling does require a certain degree of flexibility but doing so allows you to maximize your time off and keep your business running profitably.
Amazon merchants use many different tools to manage business while traveling. Several respondents noted that all they need is a laptop and smartphone to keep things running smoothly while on the road. Some delegate tasks to employees, while others prefer to manage everything on their own.
eComEngine tools can make it easier for sellers to step away for a few days. Manage your reputation with FeedbackFive, which enables you to automatically send customized seller feedback solicitations and product review requests based on your criteria. You can also receive text or email alerts for negative or neutral ratings, allowing you to connect with buyers quickly after a less than satisfying purchase or product experience. (You can even change your alert contact information to delegate reputation management to a trusted team member while you're out of town.) RestockPro helps you keep track of the moving parts of your business, from local inventory to incoming shipments. Use the Restocking Suggestions and inventory forecasting to ensure you have enough items to prevent going out of stock while you're on vacation.